Rural Health Plan
The landscape of rural Nebraska is undergoing many changes from a demographic, cultural, and economic perspective. For example, the population is growing older and is becoming more diverse. In addition, fewer people earn their living directly from farming and ranching. From a policy perspective, there have been major legislative and regulatory changes that impact many rural health care providers and consumers. All of these changes have a direct impact on the delivery of health care services in rural Nebraska.
The purpose of Nebraska Rural Health Plan is to provide a blueprint for improving the health of the population and making health care delivery systems for accessible, efficient and sustainable. The initial Nebraska Rural Health Plan was developed in 1999 to facilitate the conversion of hospitals to Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) The original plan was more narrowly focused on the process and the criteria that must be met to convert to a CAH.
This plan will be more comprehensive and address a broader spectrum of issues related to the rural health care delivery system as well as some of the key trends that impact this system (eg., quality and improvement, value-based purchasing, and the emphasis on prevention and population-based health).
The plan is divided into five sections. The first section will document some of the major health needs of the rural population. In the second section, some of the major factors that will impact the rural health delivery system in the future will be analyzed. The third section will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the key components of current delivery system (eg., hospital care, the supply of health professionals and the EMS system).
The fourth section will identify the major elements of an ideal rural health delivery system which includes an effective and coordinated continuum of care. The final section will identify the key priorities and the major strategic initiatives, objectives, and activities to address these initiatives that must be implemented to build a high quality, affordable rural health care system.
The vision for rural health in Nebraska is that:
All people in Nebraska live in healthy communities and have access to high quality and affordable health care services.
In order to achieve this vision, the rural health care delivery system must be organized to meet the unique needs of each community, and it must be economically sustainable.
To view a copy of the Rural Health Plan in full please click here Nebraska Rural Health Plan 11-20-08